From sick man of Europe to economic superstar: Germany’s resurgence and the lessons for Europe

Christian Dustmann, Bernd Fitzenberger, Uta Schönberg, Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 3 February 2014

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In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, Germany was called ‘the sick man of Europe’ (Bertram 1997). Today, Germany is Europe’s economic superstar.

Topics: Labour markets
Tags: Hartz reforms, unemployment

Labour markets reforms and unemployment: Estimating the effects of wage moderation in the Spanish economy

Miguel Cardoso, Rafael Doménech, Juan Ramón García, Camilo A. Ulloa, 20 December 2013

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With its huge unemployment rate, if there is a country in need of assessment of labour markets reforms and wage moderation, it is Spain. In the third quarter of 2013 the unemployment rate reached 26% of the labour force, more than twice the Eurozone’s 12.1%.

Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Global crisis, Labour markets
Tags: labour-market flexibility, reforms, unemployment

A penny spent is a penny earned (by someone else): Measuring GDP

S Borağan Aruoba, Francis X. Diebold, Jeremy J Nalewaik, Frank Schorfheide, Dongho Song, 3 December 2013

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“A growing number of economists say that the government should shift its approach to measuring growth. The current system emphasises data on spending, but the bureau also collects data on income. In theory the two should match perfectly – a penny spent is a penny earned by someone else.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: data, GDP, measurement, national income accounting, unemployment, US

Currency wars and the euro

Jens Nordvig, 25 November 2013

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A new battle for the ECB to fight

Last year, the ECB entered an existential battle for the euro. By promising to do ‘whatever it takes’ to safeguard the euro, the ECB managed to calm sovereign debt markets and engineer a much-needed easing of overall credit conditions in the Eurozone.

Topics: EU institutions, Exchange rates, Monetary policy
Tags: Bundesbank, Currency wars, ECB, euro, eurozone, unemployment

Can temporary in-work support help the long-term unemployed enter sustained work?

Richard Dorsett, 21 November 2013

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There is growing awareness among policymakers that, in order to break the so-called ‘low pay, no pay’ cycle, labour market programmes must do more than just encourage job entry. To help the unemployed achieve long-term self-sufficiency, they must also support them in work.

Topics: Labour markets
Tags: hysteresis, incentives, low pay, tax credits, unemployment

How much unemployment insurance do we need?

Rafael Lalive, Camille Landais, Josef Zweimüller , 9 November 2013

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The global crisis that erupted in 2008 has put millions of workers out of a job. The US, for instance, experienced a dramatic increase in unemployment from around 4% to more than 10% during the Great Recession. Unemployment remained stubbornly high even when the economy began to recover.

Topics: Global crisis, Labour markets
Tags: search externalities, unemployment, Unemployment insurance

Unemployment, labour-market flexibility and IMF advice: Moving beyond mantras

Olivier Blanchard, Florence Jaumotte, Prakash Loungani, 18 October 2013

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Growth in advanced economies is gaining some speed. The IMF projects these economies will grow 2% next year, up from an expected 1.2% this year. The average unemployment rate in advanced economies is expected to inch down from its peak of 8.3% in 2010 to 8% next year. This is progress, but it is clearly not enough. The state of labour markets remains dismal for a number of reasons.

Topics: Labour markets, Welfare state and social Europe
Tags: collective bargaining, EZ crisis, IMF, institutions, labour-market flexibility, trust, unemployment, Unemployment insurance

Social job-search networks and the transition from school to stable employment

Francis Kramarz, Oskar Nordström Skans, 17 October 2013

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The challenges faced by young workers transitioning from school into stable employment are a major concern throughout the OECD. The search for stable employment is a time-consuming process, particularly in countries without highly developed apprenticeship systems. Many young workers – especially the least educated – are caught struggling for years.

Topics: Labour markets
Tags: graduates, jobs, unemployment, youth unemployment

How the great recession affected unemployment of non-Western Immigrants in the Netherlands

Jan van Ours, 6 October 2013

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The labour-market position of immigrants in many European countries is weak – unemployment rates among immigrants are high, and employment rates are low (OECD 2011). There are various explanations for this. Immigrants often have lower educational attainment than natives, and fewer language skills. Furthermore, ethnic identity may be important.

Topics: Labour markets, Migration
Tags: Great Recession, migration, Netherlands, unemployment

German labour reforms: Unpopular success

Tom Krebs, Martin Scheffel, 20 September 2013

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Just a few years ago, Germany was known as the sick man of Europe (Burda 2007). Starting from an average unemployment rate below 4% in the 1970s, Germany saw its rate increase to almost 9% in the period 1995-2005. As seen in Figure 1 the unemployment rate has a strong cyclical component but also a trend component that has been rising since the 1970s until the mid-2000s.

Topics: Labour markets, Macroeconomic policy
Tags: Germany, reforms, unemployment

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